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Flaxseed is the new wonder food.

Recent studies have suggested that flaxseed may have a protective effect against breast cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes, heart disease and colon cancer. At least two of the components in flaxseed seem to contribute, says Kelley C. Fitzpatrick, director of health and nutrition with the Flax Council of Canada.

Flax seed plays three primary roles in nutrition.

 First, the seed, powdered or ground is rich in dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble, making it a useful digestive aid.

Second, it is one of the best sources of, a nutrient with antioxidant properties.

Third, the seed contains a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are termed “essential” because they are necessary for survival yet cannot be produced by the body.

Care needs to be taken with storage, as flaxseeds are an unsaturated fat. Unless they’re stored in a sealed container in a cool place, they can go rotten quickly. Flaxseeds, whether ground or whole, have very high fiber content, so if you’re introducing them into your diet, it’s best to start slowly and increase the levels gradually to avoid cramping, bloating or an excessive laxative effect.

When not to take them

People with irritable bowel syndrome should speak to their doctor before consuming flaxseeds due to their high fiber levels. Those with a seizure disorder should avoid flaxseed supplements as omega-3 supplements may induce seizures. Blood-thinning medications, blood sugar-lowering medications, topical steroids, cholesterol-lowering medications and anti-inflammatory can all be affected by flaxseeds, so speak to your doctor before taking supplements or increasing dietary levels of flaxseeds.

How to eat them

The seeds can be sprinkled on fruit, veggies, cereal, salads and yogurt and also in baking or to bulk out meat dishes.  This way one increases omega-3 levels and fiber intake at the same time. Ground seeds are easily digested. Flaxseed oil shouldn’t be used for cooking since it is not stable at high temperatures.

Whole flaxseeds add a nutty flavor and crunchy texture to foods. However Benefits of Flaxseed

The key is that they all contain essential fatty acids.

There are other benefits of flaxseed oil that would apply to both sexes and include:

  • Controlling cholesterol
  • Improving the health of the bowel
  • Removing toxins
  • Helping with heart related problems
  • Treating minor skin problems and itchiness

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